LED THESE INSTRUCTIONS ASTRAY.
Ms. Maria Amplatz is a landlord of residential rental properties in Minnesota. She was issued a commercial property insurance policy that provided coverage against hail and windstorm damage. She made a claim as a result of alleged damage to her properties from a hail storm in Amplatz v. Country Mut. Ins. Co., 823 F.3d 1167 (8th Cir. 2016). Her carrier paid for exterior damage but refused to pay for interior damage under the circumstances of that case.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the District Court's denial of Ms. Amplatz's motion for a new trial and for the entry of judgment in her favor. The Court's ruling in that appeal appears to be totally consistent with the majority views on the insurance coverage questions presented.
The Court held that jury instructions in that case fairly and adequately charged the jury with the coverage issues involved because, taken together, the instructions tracked the provisions of the insurance policy at bar:
Instruction number eleven covered policy provisions, explaining that the policy “provides coverage for damage to [the policyholder's] properties caused by windstorm or hail,” and that interior damage is covered “if that damage was caused by rain or snow AND if the building or structure first sustained wind or hail damage to its roof or walls through which the rain or snow entered.” Further, instruction thirteen covered Amplatz's duty to prevent further damage to her property. Taken as a whole, the jury instructions fairly and adequately presented the issues in the case to the jury.
Amplatz v. Country Mut. Ins. Co., 823 F.3d 1167, page numbers not yet provided by Westlaw but see text under "Headnote 11" (8th Cir. 2016) (capitalization in original).
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